No Tomfoolery Definition

A fool was definitely stupider than a no-frills fool. Madness was also worse than madness, the senseless state of action that had existed in English since the sixteenth century. Perhaps, curiously, it wasn`t until around 1800 that stupidity appeared. It was preceded by the verb tom-fool, to play fool. It comes from no stupidity when eating and a good regular brushing night and morning. In the Middle Ages, Thome Fole was a name given to those who were perceived as unintelligent. This eventually evolved into the spelling tomfool, which, when capitalized, also refers to a professional clown or madman in a play or contest. The name Tom seems to have been chosen for its ordinary quality, similar to Joe Blow to an ordinary person or Johnny Reb to a soldier in the Confederate army, but stupidity does not have to be strictly applied to the actions of men. In Lucy Maud Montgomery`s Anne of Green Gables (1908), for example, Marilla Cuthbert complains about Anne: “She hangs out with Diana somewhere, writes stories or practices dialogue or something, and never thinks about time or her duties.” I`m not going to listen to a fool, and I`m not going for someone to dictate my own affairs. I should be angry at this stupidity – but these guys who prestidigitize go too far. We are here in a civilized country, and we cannot have such stupidities. Stupidity is madness.

Starting a food fight in a cafeteria is an example of stupidity. Tomfoolery is a stupid word, and it means a stupid thing: stupid or ridiculous behavior. Stupidity is unnecessary behavior, like playing pranks or being obnoxious. If a few students in the class continue to talk and laugh, the teacher may shout, “Stop your stupidity!” Madness can be annoying for others, but it`s usually no big deal. Committing a crime is far worse than stupidity. Tomfoolery is more like doing stupid things or being a clown. A I would write it in one word, stupid, and my orderly rows of dictionaries tell me I`m right. But he often appears in the press, as you wrote, or as Tom Foolery or Tom-Foolery or Tom-Foolery. Such forms show that their writers always associate the word with a fool named Tom, although they may not know who he was. And for the other stupidity that claims to search the premises: Does Cope have an arrest warrant? Q By Joe Brown: I was wondering where the term Tom Foolery comes from? So much for the stories. In truth, Tom Fool is centuries older. It began to appear in historical records in the early 1300s in the Latin form of Thomas Fatuus.

The first part already served as an umbrella term for every ordinary person, as it still does in sentences like Tom, Dick or Harry. The second word means stupid or foolish in Latin and has left us, among other things, foolish and in love. In 1356, Thomas Fatuus became Tom Fool. It is sometimes claimed that the original Tom Fool was Thomas Skelton. He was a fool, a fool for the Pennington family at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria. This was probably around 1600 – he is said to be the model for the Fool in Shakespeare`s King Lear of 1606. In the legend, he was an unpleasant person. One story tells how he liked to sit under a tree on the road; Whenever travelers he didn`t like asked for directions to the ford on the other side of the Esk River, he instead drove them to their deaths in the swamps. Another story links him to the murder of a carpenter who was the mistress of Sir William Pennington`s daughter.

Around the seventeenth century, the character of Tom Fool changed somewhat, from the incarnation of a stupid or half-spiritual person to that of a fool or fool. He became a character who accompanied Morris` dancers or was part of the cast of various British Mummer plays performed at Christmas, Easter or All Saints` Day.